At-risk Afghans evacuated to Aotearoa must be reunited with family

One year on from the fall of Kabul to the Taliban, the Green Party is calling on the Government to do more to support our most at-risk evacuees.

“New Zealand’s response to the Afghan atrocity should address the deepening crisis facing millions of Afghans trapped under Taliban rule, or displaced in refugee camps. 

“Today we call on the Government to extend extra visas for resettlement to Afghan refugees beyond our quota and to allow the reunification of recently arrived at-risk Afghans separated from their whānau,” says Green Party foreign affairs spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman.

“However, so far, the Government has only extended visas to a handful of highly at-risk Afghan women, after sustained pressure from human rights organisations, the international community, and the Green Party.

“Those extended visas to New Zealand under this at-risk category were women directly targeted by the Taliban because of their work as journalists, human rights defenders or as government employees.”  

“But rules were put in place that forced some of these women to leave behind close family members- in one case a daughter. This has caused ongoing distress and left their whānau in Afghanistan, fearing for their lives.

“Since their takeover a year ago, the Taliban have sustained a horrific campaign of human rights violations against the people of Afghanistan, with women, human rights defenders, and minority communities targeted viciously.

“Unlike other like-minded nations, including Canada, the UK and Australia, New Zealand has not provided a set number of visas for Afghans most at risk of harm from the Taliban nor family members of Afghan New Zealanders.

“People arriving in Aotearoa as victims of the Taliban atrocity should be shown humanity and given meaningful support to thrive. 

“It’s time to right this wrong. Aotearoa New Zealand must be a place where victims of war, oppression, and violence are treated with dignity and compassion,” says Golriz Ghahraman.

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